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Glossary of Plasma & Flame Cutting Terms

Arc Lag

This is the angle at which the arc lags the torch relative to the vertical direction. It increases with speed or power. A surface mark of about 5 degrees is the optimum setting.

Arc-voltage Height Sensing (or Arc voltage control, AVC)

When the main plasma arc has been established the voltage between the torch and material is measured. This is used to compare with an operator set reference voltage and the system ensures that the correct torch stand-off is maintained during the entire cut. The arc-voltage is directly proportional to arc-length.


An ArcWriter is a dual gas, variable output power, plasma marking, scoring and punching system designed to leave temporary or permanent identification marks on metal surfaces. This is very often a separate power supply and plasma torch to the main cutting plasma torch. However, increasingly these are becoming integrated within the main plasma torch, especially where Hydefinition cutting is involved, allowing the customer to cut or mark with the same cutting torch.


This is the amount of movement the machine can make without moving the motor. Provision is made on all Esprit machines to reduce this to a minimum by the use of very low or virtually zero backlash gearboxes.

Bevel/Kerf Angle

This is the angle the cut face is out of square to the top surface of the material being cut. When plasma cutting, this angle is dependent on matching the speed, power (amps) and the distance between the torch and the material being cut.

Common Cutting

This is where a previously cut path is used as part of the cut for another profile.

Conventional Plasma Cutting

This process generally uses a single gas (usually air or nitrogen) that both cools and produces the plasma. Most of these systems are rated at under 100 amps, for cutting materials 5/8

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  • "Having dealt with Esprit for 8 years now we have purchased 2 machines from them and found them to be extremely well built. The cut quality is excellent from the thinnest to the thickest plates. From sales and management to technical and service all of their team are knowledgeable, helpful and dependable. They have helped us to grow and as such we would always recommend Esprit."
    - John Ready I General Manager I Eggleston Steel Ltd.
  • "Thanks to our four Esprit Lightning HD1500 x 6.5 m machines the quality and quantity of BM catalysts being produced has increased exponentially."
    - Toby Massey I Managing Director I BM Catalysts Ltd
  • "Don't know why I didn't get one of these machines 10 years ago"
    - Ivan Patterson I Managing Director I Barker and Patterson